: Time: Spanish Prime Minister proposes ending the siesta

15:36 Apr. 5, 2016

Time: Spanish Prime Minister proposes ending the siesta

A carpet vendor sleeps at Asuncion's main square, Monday, July 7 , 2008. The "siesta" is almost an obligatory ritual in Paraguay where temperatures can reach up to 44° C (111° F). (AP)

The break in the day has been a long-standing tradition in the country

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he will work to end the country's long-standing siesta tradition, an effort to improve productivity and align Spain with the rest of Europe, according to Time.

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 "I will find a consensus to make sure the working day ends at 6 p.m.," Rajoy said, the Independent reported.

Currently, it's customary to begin work at 10 a.m. and break at 2 p.m. for a siesta for as long as three hours, ending the work day at 8 p.m.—a tradition that is at least partially attributable to an effort to escape midday heat. But some studies have shown that Spain's productivity is lower than that of some of its European counterparts and have suggested that eliminating the siesta would improve the quality of life and raise low birth rates in the country, the Independent reported.

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Rajoy also proposed bringing Spain back to Greenwich Mean Time, or turning the clocks back one hour. The Spanish leader, General Franco, matched Spain's time to Germany in 1942 as a gesture of solidarity and it has not been changed since.

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